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West Caln Township


Township municipal offices are located at 721 W. Kings Highway, Wagontown, PA 19376; phone: 610-384-5643.

The township is bordered by Honey Brook, West Brandywine, Valley Sadsbury, and West Sadsbury Townships; also Salisbury Township, Lancaster County. Most of the land comprising Hibernia County Park (Chambers Lake) is located within the township.

Beginnings [1]

Caln Township originally included the territory embraced in Caln, East Caln, West Caln, East Brandywine, West Brandywine and a part of Valley Township, and the Borough of Downingtown, and that part of Coatesville lying east of the west branch of Brandywine Creek. It was named from the town of Calne, in Wiltshire, England, whence some of the early settlers came. In 1702 and about that time surveys were made, extending from the Welsh tract on the east to the west branch of the Brandywine on the west, mostly confined to the valley. These surveys were afterwards extended northward and northwesterly.

Joseph Cloud, Richard Cloud, and George Marshall all of Caln were indicted for an assault on Joseph Hickman, in his house in Caln, 4-6-1709. In 1714, Peter Taylor was constable for Caln, which shows an organization at that date.

The inhabitants of East Caln petitioned for a determination of their boundaries in May of 1739, and in 1744, the boundaries were set for West Caln.

East Caln was reduced in size in 1790 by the erection of Brandywine Township, which was taken from its northern part in that year. It was again reduced in size in the formation of Valley twp on the west in 1853. In 1859 it was still further reduced by the incorporation of the borough of Downingtown. In 1868 it was again divided, the part lying east of the east branch of the Brandywine retaining the name of East Caln, and the remainder with the part of Valley twp lying east of the borough of Coatesville, taking the original name of Caln. West Caln was slightly reduced in size in 1853, in the erection of valley twp on the SE. From 1790 to 1853 East Caln was a long, narrow twp, extending from the west branch of the Brandywine to the western line of West Whiteland, a distance of over 9 miles. The greater part of the present twps of Caln and East Caln lie in the valley and contain beautiful farming-lands, while West Caln is more hilly.

Among the early settlers and owners of land in East Caln were the names of Baldwin, Cloud, Moore, Parker, Taylor, and Vernon; in Caln, the names of Aston, Hung, Lewis, Miller, Pim, Parke, Roman, Coates, Bizallion, Musgrove and Mendenhall; in West Caln, the names of Sharpless, Swayne, Sinkler, Way, White, Weaver and Dawson. Peter Bizallion was a French trader among the Indians for some time, but finally settled here.

  1. Futhey, J. Smith and Gilbert Cope, History of Chester County, Pennsylvania, with Genealogical and Biographical Sketches, Philadelphia, Louis H. Everts, 1881
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